Thursday, June 22, 2006

Poetry Thursday

* Before I say anything else I need to warn people from my Canadian world that this post is about Mark D. I've never written about him before but he's been in my thoughts a lot over the past few weeks so I thought I needed to honour those thoughts.

Once again, I have worked out a Poetry Thursday entry without reading the instructions first! I am home sick from work. I have some sort of bug so I am sipping tea and watching Oprah. (Funny - no matter which country I am in the sick day is the same - but I sure am missing saltine crackers.)

I have written a poem for Poetry Thursday this week. I haven't written a poem in years but I started scribbling in my notebook yesterday and this is what came out. I feel the need to explain a little. When my Mom was pregnant one of her best friends was also pregnant at the same time. They gave birth three days apart. We shared a playpen - one little blonde head, one little dark one - and grew up close friends. We went to camp together, trained as camp counsellors together, both soon had little brothers (he had two!) and went off to university.

One morning before seven our phone rang. My Dad is a minister so the phone ringing that early often means something bad has happened. I can only vaguely remember what happened next, but my Mom came into my bedroom and told me that my friend had committed suicide. There are no words to describe what happens to you when you hear those words. A part of me shut down in that moment. Mutual friends came to stay with us and all of them asked me how I was. Everyone knew how close we had been but I couldn't cope with those questions. If we had been so close, how could I not have known? Could I have done something? I shut down for many years. I couldn't let myself be sad - I didn't deserve to be sad.

It began to come out years later and eventually I was broken enough and brave enough to go and see a counsellor. We sat and coloured and talked and I finally cried and began to heal enough to think about him again. His Mom and I can finally talk about him a little. And I can finally write about him. So this poem is about all of that. It's here just as I wrote it so forgive the roughness -


When you died
we were twenty.
Two souls -
three days apart.
Salt and pepper
light and dark
girl and boy.

It doesn't get easier -

It gets harder
because some days
I don't think of you at all
and then when I do
I remember.

Where is the line?
The one that you crossed.
The one between
sadness and darkness?
Why couldn't you see
the way back?

I miss you.

There is a hole inside of me
where you used to be
It is surrounded by questions
that you can't answer.

You've missed a lot
you know.
I've danced alone at two weddings
and you're an uncle now.
I'm an aunt, too.
Or do you know that already?

Please
come back.
Explain it all to me.

Two souls.
Three days apart.
But one will be twenty forever
and one never will be again.

30 comments:

Madeleine said...

This is too sad and it's brought a little tear to my eye. I understand the pain and the confusion you feel over this. It is 15 years and 2 days that my cousin, a young bright 18 year old boy, killed himself,too.The people left behind are still bewildered and shocked.
Two souls.Three days apart. But he will always live on in you somewhere I know, and the fact that it's possible for you to speak about him, will once again re-ignite his memory.
Very brave :)

paris parfait said...

Wow! Such a powerful poem exploring such deep emotions of loss and bewilderment, as well as joy at the closeness you once shared. Excellent writing!

Colorsonmymind said...

This made me cry-
cry for your pain
cry for your bravery to move through some of your grief

cry because my friend and I have boys 3 months apart-that spend a lot of time together-the thought frightens me at a core level-what pain it must have put all of you through

I too keep forgetting to read the prompts-

I was moved by your poem
Beautiful

woman wandering said...

That is an incredibly powerful poem ... it's beautiful.

baylor said...

This was amazing and brought me to tears...

xoxo

Laini Taylor said...

Meg, I can't even fathom the kind of feelings a tragedy like this would create. Your poem is very beautiful and so so sad. The line "I've danced alone at two weddings" really got me.

liz elayne said...

"why couldn't you see your way back?"
this line meg is incredible. saying so much...
but it was the line asking to have it all explained that invited the tears.

how does one get through it all? by getting up each day and doing it all over again i think. i am so glad you have found your words to speak about this, and write about it. healing the heart a little with each word.

hope you start feeling better too.

Endment said...

I have no words
sending you a hug

Star said...

You are one of the reasons I am growing to love this community of writers. I learn from your writing (and many others) about self-expression, about the process, about the depth of feeling which can be shared with words on a page.

Sometimes I feel I learn as much from the comments as from the posts. Each reader brings his or her own perspective to the site and each receives a different blessing.

The line that stood out for me and still has me thinking is "Where is the line?" I have known some who have chosen this path as well and some who have given it serious thought. Where is the line? What pushes one over it while another backs away?

Thank you for sharing this with all of us, Megg.

pepektheassassin said...

this one made little goosebumps pop up on me.

M said...

This is such a sad story, thank you for sharing it with us. I'm sending you big hugs and any support you need. So real, so powerful.

GreenishLady said...

You did that so beautifully, Megg. I am sorry for the loss of your friend, but glad for you that you are finally able to name it and speak of him.

wandering-woman said...

Oh, this:

Two souls.
Three days apart.


and this:
Why couldn't you find your way back?

Living Part Deux said...

Oh, Previous Girl. The agony cloaked in forever question - it must be the deepest kind of sadness. I am so, so sorry. Your writing moves me very deeply. Thank you for opening this wound to the air, where it heal more, although it will always be a tender ache.

Megg, thank you for your sweetness to me. I am going to now be at http://livingpartdeux.blogspot.com

My love to you,

Rebekah

Neasa said...

How hard this must have been for you - both to endure & now to write about. But you did it beautifully - the rawness is perfect.
Blessings, Neasa

tara dawn said...

Dear Megg...thank you for sharing such a personal and meaningful story with us. The poem is pure beauty...raw pain, confusion, wondering, the continuation that never fully leaves. I am so sorry that you have had to experience such immense grief in your life, though I do feel that these are the sorts of things that make us stronger. And you are so strong indeed.
Hope you are feeling better soon. I'd send Saltines, but sure you would be all well by the time they arrived:)
Love to you,
TD

melba said...

There are a few blogs that I read where the person writing is depressed and they write about their depression and sometimes I don't comment because I want to make it better, but I don't know what to say.
I don't think we will never know why some people can't find their way out of the darkness. We just need to keep reaching out. We will never know the souls we saved from the edge.

Colleen said...

BIG HUGS FOR YOU.

January said...

Such a tender poem. Thank you for sharing your story.

chest of drawers said...

The joy and the sadness so close together...the joy of knowing him and the sadness of losing him - we never really know what people have going on deep inside them but I´m glad you´re letting us in.

Alexandra S said...

Oh Megg my heart really truly feels like its stuck in my throat. Now I know what that phrase really means because I sat here for whats been close to 5 minutes not knowing how to respond. I feel so sad for both of you for such different reasons. One thing is certain: he was so lucky to have you in his life. People don't always reach out to the ones they love the most. It seems it should be that way but it just isn't too often. I hope writing this poem was specked with some healing. Thank you for being willing to share something so personal. Sending you a huge hug.

chiefbiscuit said...

A powerful, affecting poem. I hope writing it will give you solace and healing.

JourneyThroughLIfe said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Your poem was beautiful. I am glad you came to a place of being able to work through such a traumatic thing.
My Dad is also a minister, so I understand about the early morning and middle of the night phone calls.

Thank you for your good wishes on my stomach bug! I am feeling much better and I hope you are too.
JTL
xxx

Susannah said...

oh love, i know you feel these words right to your very core. thank you for sharing them with us, and it's wonderful to read some of your poetry too, even if it is a painful subject. hugs to you bunny, get well soon x

Jennifer said...

what a deeply felt poem

Yolanda said...

Such a beautiful and heartfelt poem.

deirdre said...

Your poem feels so true...grief and bewilderment and calling to someone on the other side.

Jemima said...

it doesn't get easier it gets harder

Oh, yes, I hear this, my eyes are feeling it.

Enjoyed is clearly the wrong word, but I'm glad I read it.

Karen said...

It's hard to believe that it's been over 10 years since he's been gone. You've been really brave during ALL of these years in dealing with it--slowly but surely.

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

the healing begins with such words, your writing is deeply felt and expressed with a whole generous heart!